Glenn Greenwald's latest column illustrates how telecom companies are attempting to buy amnesty from Congress through a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign. He is dead on by calling the effort "a perfect microcosm for how our government institutions work."
By accessing the Center for Responsive Politics' lobbying database, Greenwald reports that in the first three months of this year, three telecom companies (AT&T, Verizon, Comcast) have spent a combined $13 million lobbying Congress. If they maintain this pace throughout this year (and what's to stop them?), the three companies will spend $50 million. Nonprofit groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are leading the fight against amnesty. Greenwald links to a post by Kurt Opsahl, EFF senior staff attorney, on his organization's Deeplinks Blog. Opsahl makes the point that "AT&T's spending for three months on lobbying alone is significantly more than the entire EFF budget for a whole year, from attorneys to sysadmins, pencils to bandwidth."Wanna place any bets on the outcome of this one?Continue reading